Uitgesteld: Succesvol ondernemen in China: seminar over verantwoord zakendoen in China op 11 december

Succesvol ondernemen in China

11 december 2013, Kamer van Koophandel Rotterdam


Update (4/12): dit evenement wordt uitgesteld tot een nader te bepalen moment in 2014.


Update: de laatste sprekers van de middag zijn bekend. Vertegenwoordigers van twee bedrijven komen vertellen over hoe zij omgaan met duurzaamheid en MVO bij hun zakelijke activiteiten in China, Utz Certified & Bugaboo.


Ondernemen in China brengt veel uitdagingen met zich mee: voor zowel bedrijven die importeren uit en produceren in China, als voor bedrijven die de Chinese markt zien als nieuwe afzetmarkt. Steeds vaker gaat het ook over verantwoord ondernemen: want een bedrijf heeft niet alleen impact op de economie, maar ook op mens en milieu. Ook in China. Dat kan nieuwe mogelijkheden met zich mee brengen.

Wilt u weten wat dit betekent voor uw bedrijf? Kom dan 11 december naar de Kamer van Koophandel in Rotterdam.

Wanneer u in China produceert, kan het gaan om arbeidsomstandigheden of milieu. Of als exporteur kunt u geconfronteerd worden met corruptie. Bewust omgaan met deze dilemma’s is goed voor uw bedrijf: u vermindert risico’s (bijvoorbeeld in uw productieketen), u trekt makkelijker financiering aan en bent aantrekkelijker voor consumenten. Dit zorgt voor een toekomstbestendige onderneming, wanneer deze thema’s alleen maar in belang zullen toenemen.

Meer informatie:


Op 11 december staat dan ook de vraag centraal: Wat betekent maatschappelijk verantwoord ondernemen voor Nederlandse bedrijven actief in China?

Met sprekers die vertellen over genoemde thema’s en over praktische ervaringen met MVO in China geven we antwoord op deze vraag. In de parallelle sessies krijgt u de gelegenheid om in kleinere groep te praten over uw dilemma’s en vragen te stellen. De onderwerpen die centraal zullen staan bij deze thema-sessies zijn arbeidsomstandigheden, corruptie en duurzaamheid. Maar natuurlijk zal er ruimte zijn voor uw vragen over andere zaken.

We zien u graag op 11 december bij de KvK Rotterdam!

Meer informatie

Wat: Succesvol ondernemen in China

Wanneer: 11 december 2013

Waar: Kamer van Koophandel Rotterdam

Aanmelden via: direct aanmelden

Deelname kosten: Kostenloos

Organisatie: Agentschap NL, MACHI, KvK Rotterdam, Kneppelhout & Korthals

Contact: Agentschap NL – afdeling Evenementen
tel nr. 088- 602 9000

Weekend reading: on reviving rural Japan & boat refugees

I always collect a lot of bookmarks throughout the week to read when I have some time – though I don’t often make the time to really sit down and catch up on those bookmarks. I’m happy I did today: the following online articles really impressed me.

Japan, depopulation & history

Let’s start with Japan where I’ve found two pieces to share – surprisingly by the same man: Alex Kerr. I mostly know this author through his book Dogs and Demons, published already more than 10 years ago on how modern Japan works, which I would recommend anyone interested in Japan to read. Coincidentally this week I found two things online about him.

First, in this TEDxKyoto talk Kerr talks about the depopulation which is happening in Japan in many rural areas and his solution for some towns: revitalizing rural towns by making use of its traditional elements and renovating old houses to use in sustainable tourism. A great talk, and I love how you can see the personal connection and passion of Kerr about this topic.

In the same week, Kerr is interviewed in the Asahi Shimbun where he discusses Japan’s difficult relationship with China and South-Korea.

Boat refugees
However, the article that impressed me most this morning was a long piece in the NY Times Magazine: journalist Luke Mogelson and (Dutch) photographer Joel van Houdt risked their lives in following the journey that hundreds of people take all the time – and we often hear about the disastrous endings of those journeys. In Europe, many boats aiming for the Italian island of Lampedusa never make it – in the Pacific, Christmas Island is its equivalent. Many refugees from countries ranging from Syria and Lebanon to Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan try to reach the island by boat from Jakarta. Only a few boats make it across instead of being intercepted by Indonesian police or being obstructed by the force of the ocean. Mogelson and Van Houdt share their experience of following this route – from Kabul, via Jakarta to Christmas Island. Impressive journalims and heartbreaking to read: The Dream Boat


And still on my list to read:

cotton shanghai

The makings of a business event: CSR in China

Yesterday I wrote about the Crossing Continents event that I attended earlier this week. Not only was this interesting to attend because of the topics discussed – but also because it served as inspiration: next week will see the start of promoting an event on CSR in China – to be held on December 11th – so getting a look at how others format these types of events is very useful (even if I’ve seen many throughout my career so far).

The first ideas and talks about this event probably started in July, so if I’ve learnt anything from pulling this event together: you need a lot of time!

Much of that time since then has been spent talking to different people and organisations to find partners for this event. Because of course different elements are needed to make this afternoon successful such as location, access to speakers and – importantly – a network amongst the target group of this event.

I’ve taken the initiative to organize this afternoon on CSR in China as I think that this is a topic that is not that much on the agenda of Dutch businesses (especially, SME’s) active in China. Of course, plenty of companies do think about the themes connected with responsible business in China which can be as various as factory safety, overtime issues, environmental waste or corruption. Yet, whenever I talk to companies about doing business in China – dilemma’s around responsible business practices don’t really seem to be part of this.

With increasing attention on CSR (the textile industry is a good example) I thought it was time to pull together the issues that are part of CSR in China. And importantly: what this means in practice for Dutch SME’s who do want to start thinking about – and acting on this.

So I’m happy that now we are nearly there: I’m waiting for confirmation from the last speakers and we’re planning to start promoting this event after the weekend. Which is when it will finally become real which I’m very excited about. With ‘we’ I of course include the partner organisations that have now committed to this event and I’m looking forward to sharing the details of who is involved and what the afternoon will be like.

If you want to be kept informed of the programme and other details, send me a message so that an invite will be on your way when it becomes available!

Crossing Continents: to Japan

Thinking of doing business in Japan, what comes to mind for most people (I hope) is that it takes time, where relationships are important but hindered by a different language and culture. The opportunities are there, but as a business you need to put in a lot of effort.

Japan doesn’t attract a lot of attention anymore as a potential new market for Dutch companies. Overshadowed by other countries in the region with much more impressive economic growth rates. Yet, Japan is still the third economy in the world, which should offer plenty of potential.

So, in a way it shouldn’t have come as a surprise when I found the announcement of an FD & Deutsche Bank hosted event focusing on business opportunities in Japan – and Vietnam – which took place yesterday: Crossing Continents. I’ll focus on the Japan part below, as that is of course what I know best.

There aren’t many events focusing on business in Japan, and happily the room was full of an attentive audience. But: when asked who of the audience had already been in business in either Japan or Vietnam only a handful of people raised their hands. So: who was in the room?

Possibly because of this, or because the format of the afternoon didn’t leave much room for questions from the floor (which were limited to the last 10 minutes), it felt a little like Doing Business in Japan for beginners. But again, maybe this was the right audience for that – I’m not sure how many people in the room have a long acquaintance with Japan. I felt it was also hard, especially at the beginning, to translate economic (Abenomics) and political developments to the practical consequences for business (wo)men.

I liked that the afternoon highlighted some interesting developments: retail in Japan, opportunities for horticulture and connected suppliers in the tsunami-struck region of Tohoku, how trade missions work etc. (In fact, a recent horticultural trade mission to Sendai is profiled here, good to watch!) But then it also seemed to lack answers to concrete questions such as: where do I begin if I want to find an importer for our special brew beer?

Which reminded me: I need to get my post up and online about what type of support is out there for Dutch/European companies interested in entering the Japanese market. To be posted soon!

A regular Friday at the office

It’s been a bit quiet here lately, while I was trying to recover from a bad cold and just in general trying to keep up with a lot of different work things that are going on. Today was one of those days were some of those things come together.

Generally, I spend most of a week at my assignment for the National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines. The past week has been a bit strange, as I’m starting to prepare for handing over my tasks to my successor. She is with us a few weeks right now, which is great as there’s a lot that I want to share before I finalize my work at the end of the year. But, that doesn’t mean the work is done: communicating effectively about the OECD Guidelines and what it means to (Dutch) businesses is of course continuous work. By the end of this year I will have put a lot of new things in place to do this, but my co-workers will need to continue with those things.

But at the same time I’m working on a few new projects. Friday is a day usually reserved for those other things. Today is a good example.

I spent much of the day in Utrecht. The first meeting of the day focused on responsible business practices in Myanmar, with a fellow independent consultant. It’s a topic that I’ve been meaning to explore following the CSR Asia Summit back in September. Since then, I’ve been curious about what Dutch organisations, government and companies are doing to ensure that business operations by Dutch companies are established while taking into account risks on social and environmental issues. So energizing to talk to someone who also wants to do more with this – so I’m confident that we’ll be able to collaborate on this topic in some way.

Following this, I continued on to a next meeting: to discuss a project of producing short corporate films for (Dutch) companies active in China to showcase the reality of how these companies do business – focusing on their CSR activities. This cooperation with CHFC has been in the making for a few months now, and we’re currently talking to different people to get this started. Excited to be working on this, which I hope will be a way for companies to show customers through a more effective medium in what way they work on responsible business practices.

My Friday finished back in The Hague, with my weekly hour of studying Chinese: working with my teacher on pronunciation, building sentences, figuring out new characters (and yes, my knowledge of Japanese helps SO much) and generally trying to make sense of this language.

Looking forward to another Friday (or Wednesday, which are often similar to this!)